New Delhi: Eleven people have died and 12 have fallen seriously ill, many of them losing their eyesight, after consuming toxic liquor in Saran district of dry Bihar. According to District Magistrate Rajesh Meena and Superintendent of Police Santosh Kumar, five people have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the manufacture and sale of hooch, while the SHO of the police station concerned and the local chowkidar have been suspended.
A team of police, excise and medical officials were sent to the spot and those fallen ill were admitted to the Sadar Hospital. Those whose condition worsened were rushed to PMCH hospital in Patna. Nine died while undergoing treatment at Patna Medical College and Hospital, one at a private health facility and another person was cremated before the administration came to know about the incident.
It has come to light that the villages have a tradition of liquor consumption on a festival during the Hindu calendar month of Shravan. The festival was held on August 3 when locals consumed toxic liquor, according to the officials.
The SHO and the chowkidar have been suspended and departmental proceedings have been initiated against them since they failed to take note of the local custom and take preventive action, the senior officer said. The sale and consumption of alcohol were completely banned in Bihar by the Nitish Kumar government in April 2016.
Nonetheless, since November last year, the state has reported a number of hooch tragedies in which more than 50 people have died.
(With Inputs from ANI)